Personal blog of Elijs 'X2Eliah' Dima


Evaluating a smartwatch, from a regular watch-owner’s perspective

I’m somewhat of a watch fanboy. I have ~9 watches, one more is on preorder, and about half of them are from “indie” microbrands that conduct their projects on crowdfunding platforms like kickstarter. They also are priced at levels that, I suspect, most people would find absurd.. the average cost-per-watch in my ‘collection’ would be, in rough estimates, around $300 (a lot of those I chose because they were widely considered to be ‘good deals’, given the specs/quality/design – and this range is, interestingly enough, commonly considered “affordable” as far as watches go.. But let’s not delve into discussions on privilege, consumerism and so forth). That pricing┬áis very, very close to what modern smartwatches seem to cost, give or take a hundred or so (and I’m sure that Apple’s Watch will stretch that price upwards quite a bit…).

Well, fine, nearly all of those are not like the others. But bear with me, okay?

Current watches wot I got. One of these is not like the others…

So it is easy enough to think that smartwatches are ‘encroaching’ on the regular watch market – and, hey, a lot of them sure are marketed with a focus on how much like ‘normal watches’ they are (“Fine watch craftsmanship“, “A watch for our times“, “A timeless smartwatch” etc.). I got myself a smartwatch (Asus ‘ZenWatch’), and I have experience with ‘normal’ watches, so why not see how much like a watch the smartwatch actually is?

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The Grin Reaper

So here’s a Halloween-themed thing I made because why not. Pretty happy with how it turned out, even if the rendering times were abysmal (so abysmal that I had to limit to 1080p at most).


He will take the smile off your recently removed head, hang it on his scythe, all the while sporting a lovely grin.

He will take the smile off your recently removed head, hang it on his scythe, all the while sporting a lovely grin.


The six-eyed spider thing

Had an idea about making something like this yesterday, so.. pretty much just spent the last two days & made it, because why not. Also helped as a good reminder about rendering, materials and compositing. Still had to look up a lot of stuff, naturally, but still.. I think this ain’t that bad.

Click for a way too large version.

More sane 1080p versions:

Sliight crop.

Slight crop?

And yer not so basic 4k

Just the basics, thankyou.

You know how you forget something if you don’t do it?

… Because that’s more or less what’s happened to me. All that Blender-enthusiasm? Went away a while ago, and since then, I’ve forgotten most of what I knew. Yay!

Anyway. Time to try & re-learn it again… can’t be worse than replaying videogames I know inside and out by now.

For the initial stuff, just to get back on track, I made a quick joke on Apple’s expense. Cheap shot? Sure. But their marketing really is in a league of their own when it comes to BS-ing folks (e.g., that text blurb? That’s what apple said about the new iPad, verbatim).



Blenderproject 2: some sort of dogfighter

Here’s the result of past two days of messing around. Abt 38k tris, no actual rigging yet (animations here are merely object moves on keyframes – I still have to find out how to do armatures and bone rigging). But, before rigging stuff etc, it should be time for texturing it. Which means, gotta start learning about texture baking etc. I suspect that will be “fun” >.>…


Underside. Four feet, four liftoff thrusters, two places to attach cargoboxes.

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Aaand here’s the first blender fail..

Spent the last two days fiddling around a shipdesign that supposedly would fit in the upcoming Star Citizen designstyle.. And, eh, this looks utterly rubbish. The concept is just not working out at all when moved to 3d, and the polycount is also stupidly-high compared to what you get shipwise; a lot of it was wasted on the ‘inside’ of the underslung pilot-space, which doesn’t contribute to looking well at all. Oh well. I think this is a point where I just have to realize it’s not working out, and move on – no need to waste time on something that doesn’t work, anyway.

Supposedly a 'exploration/normalflight mode'.

Supposedly a ‘exploration/normalflight mode’.

And this was supposed to be the combat layout - changed wing profile, engine cover.

And this was supposed to be the combat layout – changed wing profile, engine cover.

Time to go back to the drawing board.

Blenderproject1 – finished(ish)

Alright. After a downright streak of misery in rendering crashes and misconfigurations, I’ve finally gone through compositing & made a”final” image. Thus, Project finished.

Here it is. All presentable-like and all.

Here it is. All presentable-like and all, 1920×1200.

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BlenderProject update, May 23rd

Right. Materials have been made and applied! Big party time.

Thoughts on the material editor: it is very powerful, and complicated as hell. Also, it seems that it is very very easy to get a material that’s a shiney metal with high glossiness. Any other type of materials, that are not flat one-shades but don’t turn into silver-untensil-material, those are hard to make. And, of course, sometimes things just fall flat.

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BlenderProject update, May 22nd

I think the mesh is, on the whole, pretty much done. What’s next in line? Materials. I have to figure out what colours I want, then how to get them in blender, then the arduous task of mapping the materials to the spacecraft mesh. That may be… disturbingly timeconsuming. Not yet sure. First, however – must find some tutorials that actually explain material-working properly, so I have an idea what I’m doing. If we split the entire process of [nothing] -> [finished render], then there are three or four parts to it: Modelling, texturing/materialmapping, scene setup (camera angles, lighting, additional objects), and compositing (making stuff in the render look better. Basically, applying vfx). I’m done with stage 1 out of 4. YAY so far.

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Blenderproject update, May 21st

At this point, safe to say that mostly this model will have materials instead of textures.

Starting to get the feel of active falloff modifiers.. Still feels odd, and I’d like it if the faloff travelled through connections and took that distance as ‘range’ instead of pure distance between verts. Oh well.┬áRandom pictures of work progress below:

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